Judy Greer

Judy Greer talks about the blood, gore, and screams, in Halloween Kills in this exclusive interview

Read Judy’s advice for survival and how she lost her voice for days below

Halloween is just around the corner and we all know no one loves the spooky holiday more than Michael Myers. October 31st would never be the same after 1978 with the first release of “Halloween” starring Jamie Lee Curtis as “Laurie Strode.”  It all started when Michael murdered his sister on Halloween night in 1963 and 15 years later he escaped from a mental hospital, returning to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again. After he is unsuccessful in killing Laurie, he is left obsessed. There have been several spin-offs, sequels, and resurrections since, and in 2018 came “Halloween” which served as a direct sequel to the original. In the film, we got to see what Laurie’s life was like after all the trauma and we meet her daughter Karen who was taken away from her as a child, played by Judy Greer. While the relationship between mother and daughter is strained, they are brought together by the end of the film when they think they’ve finally killed the evil Michael Myers. But of course, it’s never that easy killing something evil. Directed by David Gordon Green, “Halloween Kills” is the next installment and hits theaters and Peacock this Friday, October 15th. HOLA! USA had the opportunity to talk to Greer about her character, the gore, the blood, and how she screamed so hard on set she lost her voice for days. Read the spooky interview below.

Halloween Kills©Universal

Hi Judy thanks for talking to us today about Halloween Kills! I‘m just curious, I think the first movie I ever watched that I was genuinely terrified of was the original Exorcist. What was yours?

My first one was Friday The 13th part 3, that’s the first scariest movie that I can remember, like seeing without my parents…Where I was like, this was a mistake.

So In 2018, you told Vulture, you were ‘crossing everything’ in hopes that you would get to do it all again. How excited were you when you got that call about Halloween kills?

I know I was thrilled. I mean, we finished that 2018 Halloween with so much hanging that I was pretty confident, but you never know. And the fans are diehard and they‘re devoted. And if they didn’t like that 2018 Halloween, I know they would have given us hell and we wouldn‘t have made this one (laughing). So I was happy that they loved it and wanted more.

What do you think it is about Michael and the Halloween series that has kept it alive since 1970? There’s been like 12 spinoffs.

I don‘t know. I need to ask like a, like a civilian fan, what it is. Because I mean, to me, I think it’s the fact that he‘s not dead, but I also think it’s that he represents the evil in all of us. And so, you know, that‘s a timeless story that I think like spans demographics and generations and, obviously within the characters of the movie, but also, you know, now we’re seeing like huge fans bringing their kids to these now because their kids are old enough to watch them. And they were old enough to watch them the first time around. So I think we‘re really trying to give everyone something.


Halloween Kills©Universal

That‘s true. It just keeps passing on generationally. I always forget how gory these movies are. I remember when I watched the one in 2018, it was like ‘whoa’ like I really forgot, but this one seemed even worse. When you watch it back, do you still have these like, ‘oh my God’ moments? Or are you kind of used to it?

No, I think it‘s so gory. I totally have those moments and I forgot because we shot this two years ago. I really forgot that it was so gory and I forgot all those terrible kills and when I was watching the screaming- I just was like covering my face. I was screaming. I was like, ‘oh’ like I couldn’t, I kept screaming, “David Gordon Green. You‘re so insane.” I was like, I was shocked at what we had done. Yes.

Yeah. There were a lot of kill shots that had me like, ‘how did they even think of that one?’

What really threw me on this one was the sound design, like the sound of blood squirting out of an artery, like who thinks of what that is? That’s a sick person.

Halloween Kills©Universal

And there’s so much screaming, did you feel like you were back to your stage days? Just really getting to project?

Yeah. I mean, we all got kind of nervous on set with all the screaming. There was one, I had one scream that actually did not make it in the movie and it was a Friday night and it was the last thing I was shooting. And David was like, ‘I really want you to give it to me.’ So I screamed as loud as I could for as long as I could. And I lost my voice for the whole weekend... And then he cut it out and I was like, ‘David Gordon Ggreen. You did not put my scream in.’ He‘s like, ‘I know, I know,’ but that’s okay.

Did you have to think of just something really specific to really get that out, I mean losing your voice for days sounds intense.

You know, I wanted it to be overwhelming. I just thought- I wasn‘t thinking of something specific. I was just thinking about making like a guttural overwhelming, inhuman scream.

I wish we could see that outtake.

I’m wondering why, I must‘ve not been good because usually, David tells me why something doesn’t make it in. I‘m like, oh, maybe I was bad at screaming that loud, but I don‘t think so.

Halloween Kills©Universal

How was it like being back on set with Jamie Lee Curtis? Some of her scenes had me screaming like, ‘get back in the bed!’

I know it‘s so funny. Cause you know, we’re running from this madman, but at the same time, trying to get Jamie Lee Curtis to stay in that hospital bed is as difficult as killing Michael Myers. I learned.

Did you see any parallels when it came to your relationship with your own mom and were you able to bring them into your character?

No Thankfully. No (laughs). I mean, there‘s plenty of stuff my mom thinks that I disagree with. So I can use that for sure. Won’t get into politics, but also like no. Thankfully my mom, I mean, I like where we end up with Laurie and Karen, they’re very close and then Karen really sees her mom and sees that she wasn‘t making this up. And, and I think, you know, we see them really come together, especially in the beginning and middle of this movie. And I was really happy about that. I liked that turn and I felt like that type of closeness and that kind of love like definitely I feel that with my own mom, and I probably do think there are some things about my mom that are crazy, but no, not to that level.

So let‘s say Michael Myers was real and he came to terrorize us on Halloween. What’s your advice for survival?

Oh gosh. Well like, don‘t look and try to find out what’s making that noise, like go away, walk away from the noise, walk towards bright lights and lots of people. And don‘t ever for one second think that you can outshine or outsmart or outrun or out scare Michael Myers because you cannot.

Halloween Kills©Universal

Yeah, I was watching like ‘this is a blueprint of what not to do.’ I think that‘s part of the fun too. Getting mad at the characters in the movie and just like screaming at them. Did you feel like this time around you still had that same kind of collaborative experience when it came to your character as in the last one?

For sure. For sure. It was like, it was a real collaboration. It was really fun and it never felt like any time passed between shooting the first and second, we might as well have just gone right into it. It was so seamless

And how do you get into character for a role like Karen, leading up to it?

Well if a script is well written, which ours was you don‘t have to work that hard at it. It kind of just comes to you and same with like your scene partners, you know, Andy and Jamie are so incredible and they make it really easy for me. But like really if you take out the gore and the intensity and the murder, like it is just like a story about a family. And so when I ever felt like I was getting too caught up in like the “horror movie,” I would just ground myself like, what does Karen want? What is she trying to do? What does she need? And then I think like, it’s good to remember that these are people and we‘re telling their stories and I can leave all the scares and stuff up to editors, director, special effects.

So I like to think every movie has some kind of message. What would you say the message for Halloween kills is besides, you know, don‘t check in the pantry when there’s a noise coming from there.

Don’t walk towards the closet when it‘s like ajar and there’s a light on. What is the message of this movie? I mean you know, I‘m sure I’ll think of a better answer in a half-hour, but I think there is in this movie, this story of that mob mentality. And when you get too many people together, not thinking clearly and afraid, like fear generates crazy. And so I’d like for us to watch out for that.

Halloween Kills©Universal